Weight loss as New Year resolution


One of the most common new years resolution is trying to lose weight. What would you advice people 1) how to lose weight, and 2) how to stick to it?

Weight Management
Diet Planning
Maartje Geraedts
49 months ago

20 answers


I refer to it for as weight management than loss, and also refer to "releasing" weight. I taught at a big center for 3 years and now it's more individual, because every body is different and there are different reasons people lose easily or it's more difficult.

I teach a class called weight management and gut health, because the two go together. Your gut is your second brain and if it's not functioning properly, fixing it makes all the difference. So determining if you have candida for instance, which blocks many from losing weight, yet fairly easy to remedy.

I encourage not just making better food choices, but drinking quality and enough water, and doing the right exercise for your body, and your mental attitude is a big part of it as well. I'm a big believer in protein and vegetables and eating at least 3 x a day. I get other nutrients from supplements that I don't get from my food choices, which also affect me physically and mentally.

And as far as keeping it off, it's a lifestyle change. The great thing is the better you eat, you feel better and that feel better keeps you making good choices. That's not to say you have to be perfect, but foods you eat should make you feel good. If you feel tired after eating, that food is not what your body desires.

I hope that makes sense and helps.

Nancy Johnson
49 months ago
Thank you Nancy for your answer. I agree that weight management is a better word for it. But what would you suggest to people on how to keep it off? I think most people know what to do to lose weight, but to actually do it for more then a few days is really hard for most people. Also going to the gym, or exercise is something most people will do for one or two months, and then they stop. - Maartje 49 months ago
Very good, I agree with your concept. - Keith 49 months ago
Hi Maartje, in answer to keeping it off, it's a journey of figuring out why a person eats, overeats, etc. Weight management, in my experience, is more emotional than physical. A lot of what I did was help people figure out the reason they eat. One of my clients defined it well. "I used to live to eat and now I eat to live". It's putting a difference perspective on food. - Nancy 49 months ago
WW = poor OW - Dr. David E. 35 months ago

I would and do advise people to use the ketogenic diet and intermintent fasting. The keto diet is about macronutrients and burning fat as fuel instead of sugar. They should have 50-70% healthy fats, 10-25% complex carbohydrates ( mostly vegetables and some fruit and 20-25% protein. I would also add the fasting, eating all your food within a 12 hour period to start and get down to eight hours. I also tell them not to have to few calorie because that will result in weight gain in the long run since the body will slow its metabolism in response to too few calories.I would not go below 1200 calorie for women and 1800 calories for men. They also need to drink one half their body weight in ounces of water per day.

To get them to stick to the diet I explain the science behind it, all the health benefits and have them start off slowly. If they start off doing everything at once it is often too hard and they stop. I also give them the menus with recipes and have them call me whenever necessary. Slow and steady is the best way to lose weight over the long term.

Keith Kantor
49 months ago
OR - is this another passing fad? - Dr. David E. 35 months ago

1. How to lose weight?
Work with a nutrition professional/ coach to develop a plan with you is balanced and most of all achievable and effective. Make sure that professional helps you track your progress and makes adjustments as needed.
2. Keeping it off?
Embody the lifestyle change. Hold on to your motivation and inspiration for change by answering a most important question. What is the reason that tugs at your heart strings for living a happy healthier life. Hold that reason close and you'll continue to use that to make choices that line up with your goals.

Yalaka Huyette
49 months ago
Thanks Yalaka for your reply! Losing weight with a professional or coach is indeed a good way, but what if you don't have the funds for a professional? - Maartje 49 months ago
There are a wide range of financial options available when choosing a coach, even free via some health insurance programs.There are usually funds a available, it may be a matter of prioritized spending. In my opinion, one's life goals and vision is the highest priority. When you can focus on your vision and aligning your health choices with it, it becomes a catalyst for other areas of life. - Yalaka 49 months ago
You can go online and there are some excellent interactive apps that help. - Keith 49 months ago
Agreed - Dr. David E. 35 months ago

Remove no value added calories from your diet (cookies,.......) between meals and increase exercise initially by walking 15 - 30 minutes a day. Do for at least 21 days for it to become a habit. Build from there. Slow and steady wins the race.

Robert Fisher, Ph.D.
49 months ago
Thanks Robert for your answer. I agree that slow and steady is key. This is where most people fall of the wagon again, as they want to much to fast - Maartje 49 months ago
I agree, slow and steady is the key. - Keith 49 months ago
DITTO - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

I believe we all need assistance to build or change our habits.
Once a person make a decision they want to change their habits, they need support.
First it should focus on providing the required information and actions to start the change.
And on the second phase provide the support and encouragement to keep up with that change.
The longer the support with be the higher the chance the change in behavior will become constant.

Dror Tamir
49 months ago
OK - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

1) how to lose weight

  • maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • control calories in take
  • create dairy of daily foods consumption
  • do routine exercise

2) how to stick to it?

  • create a diet plan
  • find partners to do exercise with
  • set target
  • allow "cheat day" once a month
Joan Dharmadi
49 months ago
Interesting; thanks - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Healthy eating and regular exercise are lifestyle changes that will lead to sustainable weight loss - everyone knows this. Achieving behavioural changes requires building new habits and is a long term commitment. People that struggle to modify their own behaviour usually benefit from a source of external accountability. Ideally, a dietitian/nutritionist who can also provide accurate information on healthy eating. A workout buddy or even recording the journey on social media can help.

Laura Glenn, RD, MSc
49 months ago
I agree Laura Glenn, RD, MSc. There are also mobile apps that can provide such support. - Dror 49 months ago
Eat less - walk more - avoid moral hazards - Dr. David E. 36 months ago
Simple = KISS - Dr. David E. 35 months ago

How to stick to it. Several persons make efforts to loose weight, it works for a while then it fails for several reasons (e.g. stress, it push you to eat and drink in an irregular way, loose of motivations). Choose the right food and drink in a correct way as mentioned by Maartje. Play some sport or at least do exercises for your body, just walking a bit each day is beneficial, it does not take a lot of time and you don't need a trainer. The actual life style is often home, office, just moving with a car or public transportation, relax means spend the whole time on the couch. Just loosing weight requires a lot of efforts and everything could fail swiftly, to me the main goal is how to stick to it.

Paolo Beffagnotti
49 months ago
I think slow and steady is the key and my answer is below. - Keith 49 months ago
for sure slow is the best way, if you loose weight too quickly you will fail shortly as you can't keep that pace - Paolo 49 months ago
Nudges are not working as well as originally thought! - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Start from small steps but work towards a bigger goal.
A healthy and effective weight-loss goal should be achieved by phases/gradually and work in a holistic way - diet (quality and quantity), exercise, mental/emotional health, etc. I will not promise any client that they will lose XX lbs in a short period of time by eating less/special diet/vigorous exercises, it'll only incur a yo-yo result. If they want that, I'll refer them to other professionals/progs to achieve that. What I care is they will have a gradual change so that the body can handle it gradually and sustain it internally.
I'll also highly recommend they get a buddy to set a goal together and exercise together. As a nutritionist and a life coach, I normally will offer to walk through the whole process with the client, not just tell them what to do, to make sure they feel the support and also the accountability.

Jenifer Lai, MBA, CNHP, CPC, CHN, CSN
49 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 35 months ago

Hi Maartje,

It is one of the most common New Year resolutions on earth and growing. Growing may be the key word here and possibly without knowing it, you have asked the single biggest Public Health question of the 21st Century. What to eat and how to stick with it to maintain health is really all about choices, understanding human metabolism, educating yourself and others and realizing that we are in a global obesity epidemic with powerful forces and lobbies dwarfing the scientific evidence about healthy diets. These things must be understood before any change is possible let alone sustainable.

Some well understood facts are worth repeating. First, calling eating less and exercising more the answer is just wrong. Listening to the phrase that it is "all about calories in and calories out" is a gross oversimplification and almost impossible to do. In the USA in 1980, there were no cases of adult onset (Type 2) diabetes recorded in children. In 2018, there is epidemic among children, many as young or younger than 8 years of age. The latest generation will be the first generation to likely have a lifespan lower than their parents. Also, all calories are not equal and this is where the discussion must start.

To keep the discussion relatively simple, in addition to large amounts of water, the human body is made up of 4 essential things; Carbohydrates (Sugars), Lipids (Fats), Nucleic Acids (DNA/RNA) and Amino Acids ( the building blocks of Proteins). I will avoid talking about any of the metabolic and/or genetic disorders involved with weight and the ability to lose weight and to keep it off. Your question about how to lose weight and to keep it off, and my answer to it, will not make me any fans in the food processing industry or with the dozens and dozens of weight control products and programs that exist today. Some of them are founded on sound ideas but they are not answer that you are seeking. The villains in the weight loss and keep it off story are processed foods, fast food and sugars. As we discuss these, I need you to realize that many people who look thin and healthy may not be metabolically healthy. You can Google a British Scientists term FOTI ( Fat On The Inside) for more information about this.

Food flavour is mainly perceived in the brain from consumed Fats (Lipids). Beginning in around 1980 a fitness and food craze emerged that is still with us today and pressure to fight obesity and to attain a "healthy diet and lifestyle" has been growing and doubling every decade since. The paradox is that unhealthy excess weight and obesity have paralleled that growth curve. How can that be? I exercise more and I try to choose low fat foods but if I lose weight, I seem to always gaining it back. The villains are the cause. As we moved farther along the healthy lifestyle, healthy food and exercise curve, we demanded no fat, low fat and reduced fat options on our grocery store shelves. This came with a price: taste. The solution to the palatable (taste) problem was added sugar and sugar is the common element in all of the villains. In the USA, the most common added sugar among the hundreds of types and variations is high fructose corn syrup. You will find it and all of the other sugars in more than 80% of the estimated 500,000 to 700,000 items on you grocery store shelves. Sugars have addictive profiles that can be stronger than many street drugs and we humans simply love our sugars.

This is where all calories are not equal becomes highly relevant to your question. For example, seeds or nuts have the fats, sugars, proteins and nucleic acids that we need to manufacture the millions of new cells and tissues of all types that humans need to manufacture every day. The metabolic digestion and conversion of seeds and nuts into the four essential building blocks of life proceeds relatively slowly. This process also gives us intermediary forms that we generalize as fibre required to aid digestion and absorption. A flood of sugar intake happens much more quickly and the pancreas has to produce the hormone Insulin in large amounts to turn sugar into fat storage cells to keep up with the metabolic demands. The belly (abdomen) is a primary target for these fat storage cells. That is why in metabolism, all calories are not the same. With added sugars, no, low and reduced fat processed foods, fast food and our sugar water favourites like soft drinks defeat your resolution. As soon as you enter your grocery store, you are surrounded by a sea of added sugar foods.

If you try to keep your sugar intake to 10% or less of your daily calories, you may be surprised that a simple bowl of processed cereal with milk meets or exceeds your total daily carbohydrate requirements ( approximately 9 to 9.5 grams per day for your average adult). For simplicity, every other Carbohydrate (sugar) that you consume that day as an adult with the average or above average amount of activity or exercise, is what you are fighting to keep your New Year's resolution. While highly variable between individuals, a large soft drink at you favourite fast food restaurant contains enough calories that you would have to ride a bike, relatively vigorously, for on average, at least 1 hour per day or its other types of exercise/activity equivalent to burn the soft drink calories from that 1 sugar-water beverage.

If you want to keep your weight loss resolution, make your food from scratch with foods that are not processed or have teaspoons of added sugars, have a wide variety of foods as sources of your 4 essential elements, limit your junk food and your use of dairy products, drink lots of water every day and go for a daily walk. Work yourself up to more vigorous exercise as your time or physical condition allows for. Enjoy life and keep your favourite loves like wine or chocolate with some moderation. Make your own or family meals a time to spend together and go to your fast food outlet when you really want to. Just understand that you are what you put in to yourself and experiment with new dishes. Take it slow and enjoy the rediscovery of real food and find your own zone of satisfaction for food, friends, exercise and lifestyle. This is about far more than what we eat. Start there as the beginning to a richer life. It is about balance and happiness and you will feel much better than you do now. It is also likely that you will not have to put weight loss and maintaining it on your 2019 New Year Resolution list. One final note. When you are in your grocery store in the USA and you are reading the nutrition contents label with the % of Proteins and Fats of your daily requirement, ask yourself one question: Why is there no % for the sugars listed? Could it be that 300% might just make you put that item back on the shelf?

Educate yourself, do it right, love food again and the weight will take care of itself.

Best regards Maartje,

Dr. Roy J. McGroarty
Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Roy J. McGroarty
49 months ago
Very well said and written - Dr. David E. 36 months ago
Thank you David - Dr. Roy J. 36 months ago
DITTO - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

According to Dr Mark Hyman, 85+ of his patients improve on ALL fronts with the removal of gluten (wheat/rye/barley/corn) & dairy.

What I don't see here is the plan for success to take out the guesswork of what to eat.

  1. purge your kitchen of all processed foods (bread/pasta/wheat flour/sugar/milk/industrial oils,...).
  2. make a meal plan for every meal/snacks
  3. make a shopping list, all organic, no exceptions.
  4. plan for go-to gotta have items - If craving hit, have a plan. I like low carb nut bars or fat bombs it the spot.

There are 3 main healing diet intake lifestyle plans: Paleo, AIP, vegan.
I personally lost 90 lbs & 6 AIs working into dairy-free keto.

Jacquie Walburn
49 months ago
Nudges don't always have the desired effects. Understanding this is key to their successful application and building personalized behavior change programs. - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Weight loss always needs to be personalized to the person. There is no one right way to lose weight as everyone is very different and has different background, genetics, history, preferences, motivation etc. The best thing you can do is to work with a registered dietitian - preferably one who practices with a whole person approach so he/she is looking at stress, sleep, GI function, exercise etc and all the components that could be affecting weight gain. Some general advice below

  1. Focus on a whole foods and unprocessed diet with high fiber and nutrient dense foods that give your body optimal nutrition with fewer cals
  2. Minimize sweets, sweet drinks and focus on high quality natural sources of sweetness that have fewer calories - fruit, dried fruit, roasted vegetables, nuts and seeds.
  3. Move your body more
  4. Eat mindfully and intentionally
  5. Get enough sleep and practice stress management. Both of these areas of life can have an impact on your ability to lose weight.

Best of luck, Mary Purdy, MS, RDN

Mary Purdy, MS, RDN
49 months ago
Very good but do not forget drinking water. You should drink one half your body weight in ounces per day. - Keith 49 months ago
Well said - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Dear Maartje

I can only share my experience as all of us are different biologically, physically and psychologically.

Losing weight involves only 2 things - eating less and working out more! But the important missing part in this is what will make you do it? Why do you want to loose weight? What do you stand to loose if you don't? What is your motivation? What is being overweight costing you and people close to you? If we got present to what we are losing my being overweight it could be easy to do?

So many diet books are published every year as people want a easy trick to loose weight, what we really need to do is find a reason, a big reason, a very big reason and that alone is sufficient! That is why film stars can loose or gain weight for a movie and most of us struggle for years without any success.

Maartje, hope this provokes some thought for us all



Prashanth Kumar
49 months ago
Many thanks for your story - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

i think we all know that normal weight based on height and weight formula is a very important ,additional weigh makes our life difficult to move requires constant changes in clothing sizes ,bad for my heart , and bla bla bla .unfortunately i know perfectly well that sugary drinks are bad for me but i still use it and also buy and eat junk food etc. so i might agree we all need to do better i will try this year do better and minimize consumption of sugary drinks

amit patel
48 months ago
So many ways to enjoy water without sugar. 1/4 squeezed lemon+2 drops stevia liquid = lemonade, 1 drop ginger oil for me! & even some cilantro sprigs with cucumber slices. As you get off the sugar (4 day detox), taste buds reset from being dulled & you can taste more flavors. For myself, I would rather eat my calories than chug liquid sugar. - Jacquie 48 months ago
Interesting and informative - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Most of our participants have the correct biological answer. Adipose tissue (fat) cannot be created without glucose (sugar) and insulin (hormone). Our body is just protecting us from death by Glucose overdose by and storing the excess as fat. Want to stop making fat, stop eating sugar. It is that easy AND that hard. There are hidden sources of sugar in everything. One must learn what a glycemic index is and how some foods break down into glucose more quickly than others. No diet, no amount of exercise can solve this issue.

Tommy Dionisio
48 months ago
Nudges don't always have the desired effects. Understanding this is key to their successful application and building personalized behavior change programs. - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

usually team work work!, I would recommend to do exercise using team work. A change in diet habit and of course, try to set up goals with dates stablished this way once you reach those dates would be like new year again.

María F Lara
48 months ago
I agree, "team work" works in this case. You need motivators to achieve common goals. - Hitesh 48 months ago
Perhaps not! - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

When it comes to resolutions - Failure is an option. The key is - restart. Again and again. For example, if you missed running today, do it tomorrow. Or if for some reason you could not do for 3 days, start from the next day. But don't think if your chain is broken, you can not start again. 
Also, I think human brain works better for rewards. Making small goals and getting rewarded is one thing can help you. For example Fitbit. You can set your daily steps count limit. Make it 5K and gradually increase that. Or you can join groups to do the activities. 

Hitesh Mathpal
48 months ago
Nudging has been proven to be less successful than originally proposed. - Dr. David E. 36 months ago
Thats true, - Maya 36 months ago
Thank you - Dr. David E. 36 months ago
I too agree this Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA - Hitesh 36 months ago
DITTO - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Keep trying. Stay away from negative people.

Maya Kharkwal MA, BEd
36 months ago
Negative folks inspire me. - Dr. David E. 36 months ago
Thats good Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA . Thee is inspiration everywhere :) - Maya 36 months ago
Agreed; thanks - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

How to lose weight?

  • Eat less.
  • Walk more.
  • Avoid moral hazards.
Dr. David E. M
36 months ago
Agree. - Maya 36 months ago
Many thanks - Dr. David E. 36 months ago
Good points. - Hitesh 36 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Set realistic goals, start slowly, because too much enthusiasm will also cause a burn out effect. stick to it. Do small things at a time, get rid of some junk food one at a time. It needs will power to stick into it. Walk, or run. At work, if time permits, walk to a colleague's office or desk to personally deliver your message instead of sending sms or calling on the phone. Add more veggies and fruits with less salt and seasoning. Stay happy. Meditate

Edna Cuaresma, MD, LlB
36 months ago
All good points but Nudging has been proven to be less successful than originally proposed. - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Have some input?